Interesting day. Thanks to my friend, Tournament Director Aaron Chaney (formerly head coach, Corona del Mar, now at ‘Iolani), and the absence of the normal desk officials due to late-breaking commitments, I was invited to keep the scorebooks for the first three games — and they were exciting! Also — exciting thanks to announcers Mike Claus (formerly zone director, Pacific Northwest, now on local governing body) and Shari Smart (formerly head coach, UH Women’s Water Polo).
Game 10, Consolation, Leilehua 9-6 over Kam-Maui: Aundrea Vidal scored all 9 goals for the Mules, now on their way to tomorrows Consolation Championship versus Mililani. Is 9 a new State Record?
Game 11, Final 8, Waiakea 6-5 over Baldwin: an exciting match throughout. Baldwin-Maui finishes 7T after entering as a “4-seed” from the HHSAA. Waiakea to play for 5th.
Game 12, Final 8, Kam-Hawai’i 8-7 over Kaiser: the Big Isle school leading by 3 or 4 the whole way, got close at the end due to player rotation by Kam coupled with Kaiser’s speedy swimmers capitalizing on almost all of their opportunities. Kaiser finish at 7T their highest placing at States ever. Kam guarantees an all-Big Island game for 5th.
Then it got boring, in a sense, as the two “semi-finals” for Hawai’i High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) did not live up to the expectations of a very large crowd of 275-300 folks rooting for at least one of the four remaining teams.
Game 13, Semi-final, Kamehameha vs Kahuku: the more stronger Warriors jumped out to a 4-0 halftime lead, 5-0 before “number 2-seed” finally scored, then cruised up 7-2 entering the fourth quarter.
Game 14, Semi-final, Punahou vs Kapolei: the more agressive Buffanblu sped out to a 4-1 quarter and 8-1 halftime lead, then dominated 12-1 entering the fourth quarter.
Opinion: As mentioned in earlier blogs, the division between the OIA and the ILH is too great presently for both player improvement and spectator enjoyment. Differently said, these two fiefdoms which are constrained due to self-imposed territoriality need to do cross-over tournaments throughout the pre-season. Quarters can be 5 in lieu of 7-minutes. Upper and lower divisions can be created. That’s first priority for next season’s scheduling.
Priority number two is that the HHSAA organizing committed needs to get real and seed this tournament without pulling the ILH gets first, OIA second, Big Island third, Maui fourth mentality. After teams play others inter-island or inter-league (priority one) throughout the season, then the seeds for state will more logically fall into place. It’s extremely clear to me that the top three teams in Hawai’i today are ‘Iolani, Kamehameha and Punahou…